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April Feature - Double Time with Green Jello Cosplay!

April's Cosplayer Feature is a double treat! Green Jello Cosplay! All puns aside, this dynamic duo has been cosplaying for some time now and they have worked their way to the top of the cosplaying world and my list of cosplayer idols. Big dresses, great craftsmanship, historical detail, and hard work brought these two cosplayers to compete in the Mountian Preliminaries at Nan Desu Kan for World Cosplay Summit 2013 (WCS.) There they won as the Wild Card Team and last month they competed in the finals for the WCS U.S. Team Even though they did not win the finals, they had a brilliant performance!

Green Jello Cosplay
Elrowiel as Queen Nehelenia and Pannon as Princess Serenity.
Photo by Inoli Images 
"As a young girl I always admired Sailor Moon because she could be beautiful and strong at the same time and being kind did not mean she was weak!" - Pannon

Fun Fact: Queen Nehelenia alone has about
80 yards of fabric and 8 wigs sewn together.
Despite the  weight Elrowiel is still able to
 move around easily. Her favorite part about this
cosplay is the cloak, which moves like wings!
Photo by Muzo Gul
The first thing that stands out about Green Jello Cosplay is their strength. These are two strong women and the characters they choose to cosplay mirror that. Green Jello is on the top of my list of great cosplayer examples. They are always kind and willing to lend a hand or give advice if asked. This post is a long one but  Green Jello has some very good experiences to share. Please read all the way to the end! I promise it is very worth it.

The team is made up of the talented Elrowiel and Pannon. Elrowiel has been cosplaying since 2007 and is known for her dazzling ballgowns. Pannon has been cosplaying since 2001 and has been part of the cosplay group XDCosplayDX. Together they are great teachers and strong examples of their craft.

Places you can find Green Jello
Facebook: Elrowiel and Pannon
Deviantart: Elrowiel's DA and Pannon's DA
Youtube: Pannon
American Cosplay Paradise: Elrowiel and Pannon
Tumblr: Elrowiel and Pannon

Interview with Green Jello Cosplay

What brought you together to team up and take on World Cosplay Summit together?

Elrowiel: I had been looking for someone to partner with for years. I wanted to go for it but I could not find anyone else who wanted to do it. When Pannon said she was interested in WCS on a random Facebook status, I jumped and told her I wanted to as well. We sort of met up and did a photoshoot to see how it would be working together as a team... and the rest is history!

    Fun Fact: C.C. was made over the course of 6 weeks.
The headpiece alone was a week's worth of work!
Elrowiel as C.C. and Pannon as Lelouch: Code Geass.
Photo by Nivi

Pannon: For me, it was just after my friend and I took Best in Show at Anime LA in 2010. I had designed all the costumes and made a good portion of them. I had heard about WCS in passing. I thought at that point I probably had the minimum skill set I might need and that [WCS] would be a good challenge and something to work towards. When I got home from the convention I posted on my Facebook that I was interested. To my surprise, Melissa (Elrowiel), someone whom I respected as an incredibly talented cosplayer, also wanted to give it a shot! We decided to try it out and see what we could achieve together.

Why Green Jello Cosplay?

Elrowiel: We wanted something silly, but also reflected where we come from. Utah is not well known for its cosplay, but we are proud of where we come from. Green Jello is actually Utah's state dessert.

Fun Fact: "I ran out of blue for the applique
on my coat, but my sister liked it so much
she had her bridesmaids dresses made out of it!
I  used my maid-of-honor dress after the ceremony
to finish the coat!" - Pannon
Pannon as Fai D. Flourite: Tsubasa
Photo by Nivi

How would you describe your experience at WCS?

Pannon: Well, this was our third year entering and it is really a different feeling every year. I think there was a lot more feeling of community and togetherness this year that has been lacking in years past. We were genuinely thrilled for Cupcake Cosplay to win it. They did an amazing job! The prelims made for a very different finals as well. It gave us a chance to refine and remake our performance until we were happy with it. We took some of the constructive criticism the judges gave us at NDK and ran with it! I feel really proud of what we were able to accomplish.

Elrowiel: It is long, it is tiring, and it is a ton of work... but I absolutely love it! We have met some of the best craftsmen I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with. There are so many people I would not have met were it not for this whole Adventure! Not to mention it has really given Pannon and I the chance to really ramp up our costume and performance game!

Your skit was crazy amazing! How long did it take for you to plan and create a skit worthy of taking on WCS?

Elrowiel: Oh boy! Well, the first draft was done about three weeks before NDK 2012. We liked the idea but didn't feel like we pushed it quite enough. When we went through to Finals, we really sat down and thought about what we wanted to present. We decided Nehelenia's descent into madness was something we really wanted to explore. It took breaking down everything we needed to say, what props needed to do what, and then how we would interact with our video. 

"Yuuko is the sort of character I fall in love with
and her fabulous wardrobe doesn't hurt!"
- Elrowiel
Elrowiel as Yuuko: XXXHolic
Photo by Muzo Gul

In January we scheduled a weekend at our local capital building and spent two full days filming. Pannon spent a month editing everything together. Once the whole thing was rendered and our song cut, we sat down to work on the timing of everything. It was going to be crucial that everything happen at the exact right moment so as to fit with the video.
The hardest challenge was fighting in our giant dresses. It took a lot of practice to make sure we could loop the trains and such just right to avoid tripping!

Pannon: I would say it took about two months of planning, two of making all the prop bits, and two in rehearsing. Not necessarily in that order. Our biggest obstacle was the mirrors. We HAD to have mirrors because they are such a huge part of Nehelenia's character, but the WCS skit that had won last year also used [Mirrors.] We had to think of a way to have them in our skit but make it similar to last year's. We knew we wanted movement as well. One of the hard parts of having such big dresses is that they are awesome to look at, but can really hinder stage performances! We wanted to be as mobile as possible and still have awesome costumes.

"Boooobs, Okay, now that is out of
everyone's system. Let me tell you why
Matsumoto is awesome. She is another
character who does not crompromise
being strong and pretty!" - Pannon
Pannon as Matsumoto Rangiku: Bleach
Photo by Nivi

What is the biggest project you have ever tackled?

Pannon: That is a hard question! On my own, I think it changes every year! I keep thinking of new ways to challenge myself with harder and more detailed costumes. My biggest projects were when I was working with Anime Banzai. XDCosplayDX would do a group performance every year and it always felt like a huge accomplishment when our shows went well. 
As Green Jello Cosplay? I think it grows each year as well, haha! Our skits have become progressively more ambitious as we push ourselves. I thought our Umineko skit was a huge project, but then we did Sailor Moon! And I thought that was huge, but this year we have even bigger plans!

"The designs on the dress were a challenge
and though I started this dress years ago,
there is still a lot of work to go. For now
it is wearable. Someday it will be complete!"
- Elrowiel
Elrowiel as Celes Chere: FF6
Photo by Muzo Gul

Advice for starting cosplayers?

Elrowiel: Don't be afraid to fail. It is going to happen. It is not always going to work on your first try, but that does not mean you are bad or that you will not improve. As Mr. Hammond says in Jurassic Park, "Creation is an act of sheer will." That and make friends! This hobby is a gateway to some amazing friendships! Above all -- Have fun! Is this not what it is all about? If you are not happy, then the whole thing becomes a practice in misery and sadness.

Pannon: Do not give up! This is true for so many hobbies, but I see a lot of beginners decide that just because their first costume isn't AMAZING, that they have no talent and suck at it. Hardly anyone can say their first costume was award winning or jaw dropping. You have to keep at it, keep learning, keep improving! You can not be the BEST unless you are always striving to be BETTER. One thing I love about cosplay is that even though I have been at for over a decade, I am STILL learning new things and trying new ways to sew or craft or build. It is an art form all about creativity. I never want to stop learning!

Fun Fact: Pannnon had her nails done for the
Hunger Games premier with black nails and fire
when she did this photo shoot! Ordon Link is
also a Work-In-Progress for Pannon. Impressive!
Pannon as Ordon Link: Twilight Princess
Photo by Elrowiel (Extra Fun Fact - Elrowiel is
a photographer too!

What is the most important thing you have taken from cosplay and crafting?

Elrowiel: I think practice, patience, and perseverance! If it doesn't work the first time, try, try again! No one wakes up and is instantly a master seamstress. It takes care and practice. I spend a lot of time reading up on new techniques and researching new materials.
Secondly, be friendly. We cannot improve as a community if everyone is tearing each other down. I try to be friendly to everyone I meet, even if I do not have the time to sit down and chat with them (which happens more often than not now a days.)

Pannon: I think the friends I have made as we have found things in common, performed together, and created together are the most important. Cosplay has taught me a a lot of different skills when it comes to sewing, crafting, make-up, and performances. It has also taken me all over the world and helped me meet all sorts of people. The friends I have made because of cosplay are very dear to me.

VFire could not pick just one picture to show at the end so here are the rest of the pictures Green Jello sent. Enjoy!

"Trinity Blood is never done. It is just in
various stages of wearable." - Elrowiel
Elrowiel as Caternina: Trinity Blood
Photo by Unroyalty Photography
Pannon as Seymour Guado: FF X
Photo by Emma

We're not Twins (Julia) as Joker, Whitney as Beast, and Pannon
as Dagger: Kuroshitsugi
Photo by ???

Elrowiel as Beatrice the Golden Witch: Umineko no naku koro ni
Photo by Eurobeat King

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